Category: Pets

Trendy Trims For Your Pet

Give your pet a stylish cut can transform her appearance from drab to fab, making her a topic of conversation wherever you go together. With a number of options to choose from, your cat or dog can look like anything from a teddy bear to a dinosaur. Get your furry friend ready for spring or summer with a trendy trim

Styles for Furry Stars

According to pet groomer David Khalili, owner of Wet Paws Grooming in Beverly Hills, California, the most requested styles for his clients are the lion cut and the teddy bear cut. The lion cut involves shaving all of the fur on the body, while leaving thicker fur on the head, feet, and tip of the tail. 

Cute Pomeranian Dog After Haircut

The teddy bear cut, also known as the puppy cut, is popular because it gives your pet the appearance of a teddy bear toy. For this cut, the fur on the ears is rounded out to give the pet a plush appearance while the fur on the muzzle and body is cut short and even.

Cute poodle puppy in a studio shot 

For poodles, the continental cut is very popular and considered the American Kennel Club standard. This involves leaving the front half of the body long, with rounded pom-poms of fur on the tail and ankles, while shaving most of the back-half of the body.

Red Standard Poodle dog staying outdoors on the snow

 

Cuts That Stand Out  

Some unique cuts involve giving a pet the look of a dinosaur, by leaving some longer fur along the spine after shaving most of the fur on the body. The fur is then shaped into triangular spikes. 

Groomers can also cut all of the fur short on your pet and leave a little mohawk of fur on the top of the head. 

In Living Color

As part of your pet’s trendy trim, you can add a pop of color to the coat. These eye-catching additions are popular on lighter-colored pets because the color shows up most vividly on them. To prevent skin irritation, most pet stylists will cut designs into the pet’s fur, such as flowers, and highlight them using pet-safe dyes, rather than dying the whole coat.

When requesting a service like this, always ensure that the pet groomer is using a nontoxic product designed specifically for pets that. This is especially important for cats because they’re very sensitive to chemicals.

Another option is to have your pet groomer add some color to your pet’s nails using a nontoxic, pet-safe nail polish. “The nail polish will usually last until the next groom,” Khalili says, so expect it to last about three weeks.

Accessorizing the ‘Do

To complete your pup’s trendy cut, most pet stylists add some colorful accessories. “With the customer’s permission, I place some bows in the coat or a bandanna after the groom,” Khalili explains. He also adds a bit of nontoxic, pet-safe fragrance to the coat as well.

When placing any accessories in your pet’s fur, remember to use those designed for our furry friends. This way, your pup or kitty won’t accidentally ingest something that can cause a gastrointestinal blockage. And between grooming appointments, you can keep your pet’s new trim in shape using a small, easy-to-use trimmer like the ConairPRO Dog™ Palm Pro™ Micro-Trimmer.

Tips About Trims

Wire-hair dogs and those with a double coat shouldn’t be shaved because the fur will not grow back the same, so ask your groomer what styles he feels will work best for your pup. 

To calm pets during a grooming session, Khalili recommends giving them treats and talking to them in a soothing voice during the session to help reduce stress. “Getting them used to the vibrations of the clipper also helps to calm them during the groom,” explains Khalili. 

Full-body cuts like the lion cut work well for pets with severe mats to remove them and make the pet more comfortable, Khalili recommends.

Trendy cuts can make your pet stand out from the crowd and remove any icky mats from her coat, but not all styles are for everyone. Consult with a professional groomer about what cuts you have in mind and bring a photo along to show him exactly what you’re looking for to avoid any misunderstandings.

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You have different tools for cooking, working, and hobbies. Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that when it comes to grooming your pets, building a toolkit is helpful there too. Collecting some basic items for your grooming toolkit helps make the process more pleasant. After all, it’s all about your dog or cat.

“Grooming should always be pleasant for the pet, whether done at home or by a professional,” said Linda Easton, ICMG, President of the International Professional Groomers, Inc. “Think about it. You get a massage with warm water, dried with warm air, brushed, and massaged more. Then when all is done, everyone tells you how beautiful you are.”

Luckily, there’s only a handful of tools needed to keep your pet looking sharp from head to toe.

The Kit for Coats

The most obvious tool here is a brush, but what kind? A good brush should help keep hair clean and free of excess dirt and whatever else your dog may like to get into. “Never use a brush on a dog you wouldn’t use on your own hair,” Easton recommended. “If it is too sharp for you, it is for them, too.”

A commonly used all-purpose type is the bristle brush, which works for most coat types. To fine-tune it further, match the bristles to your pet – shorter bristles for short or coarse fur and longer bristles for longer coats.

A pin brush has bristles spaced very far apart and is often the preferred coiffure tool for either curly or long, luxurious coats.

The fine, wire bristles of a slicker brush or undercoat rake work well for pets with thick undercoats. Those coats have an extra layer of fluff that needs a little extra TLC to loosen and remove extra hair.

If your pet is a heavy shedder, you’ll find a shedding blade—technically a comb or an actual blade—to be a necessity. It helps remove extra, loose fur including that from the undercoat. Speaking of combs, Easton said cats should be combed, not brushed.

Another type of brush to help with shedding is a rubber glove that’s used while bathing your dog. It has little nubs that do some additional work in removing dead hair.

Dogs enjoy the massage, Easton said, so whichever brush you use, keep your hands on them and pet them as you groom. ConairPRO Dog™ has several brushes in their Pet-It line—such as the ConairPRO Dog™ Soft Slicker Brush—with palm-petting grip technology to combine brushing and petting. 

And while brushes are used to clean your pet, don’t forget to clean the tools occasionally, too. Remove hair after each use by rubbing two brushes against each other. Wash the brush with warm water and antibacterial soap when you start seeing some residue, or sooner just to remove germs. Make sure to dry the brushes thoroughly before you store them.

There are a couple of specialty tools that help to keep Fido looking fabulous. If you have a dog with excess hair around its face that reduces vision, powered trimmers or rounded-tip scissors will be a welcome addition to your grooming toolkit. If you’re unsure about how to use them, check with your groomer for a quick lesson.

Pet-icures

When your pet’s nails grow too long, it’s painful for the pet—and for you! Two types of tools can help you both avoid discomfort. The first are guillotine-type clippers that are strong enough for the tough nails of many dogs. Cut off just the nail’s tip and avoid the quick, which is the nail’s visible blood supply.

If your pet’s nails aren’t that thick or just need some shaping after being cut, you may find you like the extra finessing from a battery-operated nail grinder.

All aspects of grooming are a necessary part of keeping your pet looking and feeling good. Just a handful of quality products in your toolkit can transform grooming from a chore to one more way to bond with your pet.

 cutting the nails

Deciding Which Shampoo is Right For Your Pet

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Your dog’s idea of a good time may include rolling around in dirt, but even if that’s not the case, your furry friend still needs a bath from time to time—and what shampoo you use matters. “Pet owners who bathe their pets at home should make sure they are using products that are ideal for their pet’s skin and coat type,” says Pam Lauritzen, president of the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists. 

Dog shampoos come in two major categories—non-medicated and medicated.  If in doubt, Lauritzen recommends checking with your dog grooming professional for advice. Here are common pet shampoo types available and the conditions they’re used for.

Non-Medicated Shampoos

Non-medicated shampoos come in a variety of specialty formulas. In fact, many of them target skin issues, just like a human anti-dandruff shampoo focuses on treating the scalp, not just cleaning the hair.

Never bathe pets in your own shampoo, as some of the fragrances and ingredients aren’t pet-friendly. In fact, pet owners who have both dogs and cats should even use different products for canine versus feline friends. Lauritzen pointed out that a cat’s skin is thinner than a dog’s and more prone to injury caused by chemicals. “Pet owners should make sure that all products used on their cats are cat-friendly,” she explains.

Deshedding shampoo. This may be helpful if you have a dog with a thick undercoat—think large, fluffy breeds like Siberian Huskies and Chow Chows. Deshedding shampoos can help remove that undercoat fuzz. But use the shampoo in addition to other deshedding treatments, such as the right brush, not as a substitute for them.

Sensitive skin. Itching, dryness, and even dandruff can all plague our pets. Shampoos for sensitive skin have ingredients that provide extra moisture. Some of them are labeled “Oatmeal Shampoo” because it’s a very soothing ingredient that can reduce itching and inflammation. Other ingredients found in sensitive skin shampoos include aloe vera, jojoba, and vitamin E. Bonus: they’re devoid of fragrances, too. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying problem causing your pet’s skin issues.

Waterless shampoo. If your dog really hates getting bathed—or for times when you’re camping and don’t have access to a tub—consider a dry shampoo. Dry, or waterless, shampoos come in a powder, spray, or foam. These are great for spot cleaning or to alternate with a full bath, because the dry products may not leave your dog quite as clean. One recommendation is the 4:1 approach, which is one traditional bath supplemented by four dry ones. Pre-moistened wipes are another way to spot clean your pooch when a full bath is inconvenient.

Whitening shampoo. If you have a dog with a white or very pale-colored coat, whitening shampoos are designed to brighten the white and minimize yellowing.

Conditioning Shampoo. If you’re looking for extra softness, Argan oil is a great addition to your dog’s shampoo. The ConairPRO™ Dog 2-In-1 Shampoo & Conditioner—as well as other shampoos in the ConairPRO™ Dog line—include this nourishing oil to help replace natural oils and aid in detangling the coat.

Medicated Shampoos

Medicated shampoos tend to fall mostly under two classes: anti-pruritic and anti-seborrheic. These scary-sounding names are just fancy terms for anti-itching and anti-skin disorder, respectively. Anti-itching shampoos help reduce your dog’s urge to scratch, which can prevent skin breaks and additional irritations. Seborrhea can mean a variety of skin conditions, from dandruff to yeast infections. Consult your veterinarian to see if one of these formulas is best for your pet.

There’s also a third class of shampoos, technically known as anti-parasitic, but more commonly labeled as flea and tick formulas. These products contain ingredients designed to kill or repel parasites living on your dog. However, the shampoos don’t prevent those nasty bugs from surviving in bedding or in your home, so they shouldn’t be considered the sole source of parasite prevention for your dog.

Whether your dog has white fur, a thick undercoat, or sensitive skin, the right shampoo can deliver extra benefits while cleaning your dog and making it smell great.

 

How Pets Provide Therapeutic Benefits to People of All Ages

How Pets Provide Therapeutic Benefits to People of All Ages

By Susan Paretts

Having a pet is not only a lot of fun, but your furry companion can provide a variety of therapeutic benefits, too. Research shows that pets can improve our health, make us more socially active and help us get the exercise we need to stay fit. Pets may even help prevent allergies in children and assist them with learning activities. There are myriad ways our four-legged friends help make our lives happier and healthier.

Furry Friends Make Us Feel Good
Being around your pet gives you a lift because it increases the amount of feel-good hormones in your body, such as oxytocin and serotonin. These are chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Along the same lines, spending time with your animal companion can help decrease stress hormones, such as cortisol, that our bodies produce when we’re anxious.

Rachel Eddins, a licensed professional counselor of the Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, Texas, recommends owning a pet as a healthy way to improve your mood. “Many people do not get enough pleasure in their lives and turn to food, TV, alcohol, etc. as their primary source of pleasure or entertainment,” Eddins explains. “This can lead to unhealthy behaviors as well as low mood, because the pleasure is short-lived. Pets can be highly therapeutic in this regard because they can be both—a source of pleasure and entertainment.”

Dogs and Cats are Good for Kids
Pets help teach children responsibility and may make them healthier adults. According to veterinarian Ken Tudor of the Well Dog Place in Claremont, California and the Hearthstone Homemade website, several studies have shown that children who grow up in households with dogs or cats don’t develop allergies or asthma later in life.

Dr. Tudor says that many studies show that children with pets have improved self-esteem, greater cognitive development and better social skills. The Purdue University Center for the Human-Animal Bond also asserts that children who own pets may even become more nurturing parents later in life. Our four-legged friends encourage empathy in children, and their presence helps kids achieve academically as well.

Pets Are Just What the Doctor Ordered
Forget an apple a day. Owning a pet is just what the doctor ordered to help you stay healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having a pet can help lower your blood pressure, as well as your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, an article published in medical journal the BMJ, or British Medical Journal, stated that pets may help people recover from major illnesses like a heart attack, stroke or cancer. Pets of all sizes also provide companionship to the elderly and ill, improving their overall health and well-being, according to Darlene Richards, a licensed veterinary technician in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Four-Legged Friends Help Break the Ice
Not only do pets provide you with much-needed companionship, they can help you make new friends. Having a pet along can be a starting point for a conversation with a potential friend or even a romantic partner. According to the BMJ, pets are great “social catalysts” for people of all ages, including the elderly and disabled.

Pets Keep Us Moving
“Pets can be a motivation to get out the door when you don’t feel like exercising or going to the gym,” Eddins says. As a result, having a pet can help you stay fit. Walking your dog or playing interactive games with your kitty indoors gives you both some exercise. And that physical activity causes your body to release of endorphins—chemicals that make you feel good and help reduce symptoms of depression.

Pets not only help relieve our stress, but they improve our physical and mental well-being. Return the favor to your furry friend by playing a game of catch or giving him a pet massage. He’ll enjoy being pampered, and the time together will make you both feel good.